Praise the Lord! This is the one week anniversary of my receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. One week ago today, I was made a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church. One week ago today, His Excellency Auxiliary Bishop Donald Joseph Hying made me a Soldier of Christ. One week ago today, I was given a new name and a new spirit. I was made a new person. Now sealed with and sent by the Holy Spirit, armed with the Gifts of: Counsel, Fear of the Lord, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Understanding, and Wisdom, with the Fruits of: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Benignity, Goodness, Long-suffering, Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continency, Chastity in my soul, Matthias enters the world to: serve the Lord and His Holy Church and to ultimately become a saint.
The day after I was Confirmed, to be painfully honest, I was having some small doubts about myself and the power of the Sacrament I had just received. It was not like I lost my faith in God. No, rather I just could not fathom how the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity could place an indelible mark on my soul and I not feel any different. I mean, this was the same Holy Spirit Who, when Confirming the Apostles on Pentecost, appeared like tongues of fire over their heads. When He came to the Apostles, the house they were in was filled with a great noise, like a blast of wind. At my Confirmation, the only noise was made by the choir and fussing babies. In the days after they were Confirmed, the Apostles were filled all with great boldness and knowledge and they were all speaking in tongues. For me, it’s already been a week out and as you can tell by this post my I.Q. has hardly risen at all.
So quite naturally, after a couple of days with nothing out-of-the-ordinary happening, I began to doubt whether or not I had received the Sacrament of Confirmation worthily. However, now that I have had a week to contemplate, I have come to the realization that the Holy Spirit did not need to light my (very, very) short hair on fire to let me know that He is with me now in a new and powerful way. No, as I look back on my preparation retreat, I remember what the priest who conducted the retreat taught. He reminded us that in Confirmation, we receive the “raw” Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is then up to us to either put them to good use – in which case they will develop and intensify and their powerful effects will be made present to all through us – or let them sit stagnant. The Holy Spirit is in me and He now directs that I speedily put His Holy Gifts and Fruits to good use among His people. He has not deemed that I be given remarkable boldness or the gift of tongues or amazing knowledge, nor has He chosen to give me significant and notable opportunities to evangelize and spread His Good News.
Rather, the Holy Spirit has given me this blog, and with my meager talents now fortified with His Wisdom and Strength, this blog will be His chosen instrument to bring His message to the world. The Holy Spirit has given me my family, my friends and yes, the atheist down the road. For now, at least, these will be my converts and this will be my mission territory. Like Sr. Adele Brice, I will joyfully serve in my little portion of Wisconsin and like St. Therese the Little Flower, I will fervently work to bring myself and all I meet to Heaven along the “Little Way.” My God, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit – in Whose Name I have been Baptized and Sealed – grant that I may ultimately become one of His Saints. Amen.
P.S. The day after my Confirmation, I received a gift, a cross, pin and prayer card from Fr. Cyril of the Mother of God, O.C.D. He asked me to put the prayer on my blog. Now nearly a week later, I am keeping my word.
“O Father Moses, who in return for thy burning faith and love of God, was Divinely rewarded with the leadership of Israel and care of God’s eternal law, obtain for us a lively faith, a bold courage and a steadfast commitment to preserve God’s ancient Commandments in our hearts and in our land. Grant, that through our humble efforts, God’s Ten Commandments may be more widely known, more deeply understood and more faithfully followed. Amen.”
– Project Moses
Some of My Confirmation Pictures